Ben Shaoul is reportedly close to buying that L-shaped parcel of single-level businesses on East Houston at Orchard Street.
BoweryBoogie had the scoop yesterday that Shaoul, the East Village-LES Developer-Landlord of the Year seven years running, was in (or close) to contract for 196-198 Orchard and 187 East Houston.
While the deal EXCLUDES Katz's, the rest of the businesses, including Bereket, Empanada Mama and Ray's Pizza, will need to vacate in the coming months. None of the restaurants that Gothamist's Christopher Robbins contacted were aware of the upcoming deal. "The man who answered the phone at Bereket said he believed the restaurant had another year on its lease."
News of Bereket possibly closing was particularly upsetting to EVG reader Danny:
"Their lentil soup is essentially a panacea for all the ailments that might plague a body, mind or spirit. (Of course, it must be eaten with hot sauce and with lemon.) And at $5, it's quite possibly the most bang for a buck to be had in all of Manhattan. Plus, all the guys that work there are incredibly warm and friendly. I'll be really sad to see it go. I only hope it'll move (not far away) and not close up shop for good."
As for what might be coming next, BoweryBoogie points out that developers are permitted to build up to 12 stories (or 120 feet) with inclusionary housing.
Per a BB tipster:
"It's hard to imagine a single block is being subjected to such a massive unwanted upheaval (with absolutely no benefit to the residents)."